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U.S. Steel furloughs 142 at tubular facility in Pa.

Keywords: Tags  U.S. Steel, McKeesport plant, line pipe, layoffs, production cuts, energy tubulars, steel pipe, Michael Cowden

CHICAGO — U.S. Steel Corp. has laid off 142 hourly employees at its tubular operations in McKeesport, Pa., a company spokeswoman said Monday.

"As a result of business conditions, including the negative effect of the high level of tubular imports (many of which we believe to be unfairly traded), we are adjusting production at our McKeesport Tubular Operations," she told AMM via e-mail.

Before the layoffs, 237 were employed at the plant, the spokeswoman said, leaving 95 left at the facility. She did not speculate on business conditions or when the laid-off workers might be recalled.

"While we have made every effort to maintain employment at our operations, unfortunately, we must now adjust our work force to match our production levels," the spokeswoman said.

The Pittsburgh-based steelmaker said it had notified the United Steelworkers union of the layoffs. A USW spokesman declined to comment Monday on the job cuts.

The McKeesport plant makes line pipe in outside diameters of 8⅝ to 20 inches, according to the company’s website. The mill has an annual production capacity of 315,000 tons and processes hot-rolled band from the company’s Mon Valley Works in West Mifflin, Pa. (, April 19, 2011).

The United States imported 205,705 tonnes of line pipe in October, up 38.6 percent from 148,369 tonnes in September and 20.4 percent higher than 170,842 tonnes in October 2011, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The top overseas supplier of line pipe to the United States during October was South Korea, which shipped 79,915 tonnes to the U.S. market, up 74 percent from 45,925 tonnes in September and more than double the October 2011 total of 37,924 tonnes.

Several domestic mills have suggested that a trade petition against energy tubulars from South Korea could be in the works, including U.S. Steel (, Oct. 31), with a filing potentially coming early next year (, Nov. 9).

U.S. Steel took control of the McKeesport facility, the former Camp Hill Corp. and site of the once-iconic National Tube Works, in 2011.

Earlier this year, U.S. Steel made production cuts at its tubular facilities in Lorain, Ohio (, Oct. 26).

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